Earnings and sales declined on a year-over-year basis at home-improvement retailer Lowe’s in the first quarter. Despite the decline, the company reported positive comparable sales for its pro category in the quarter.

Net earnings totaled $1.8 billion in the first quarter compared to $2.3 billion in the prior-year period. Sales in the first quarter were $21.4 billion, down from $22.3 billion in the first quarter of 2023. The retailer said comparable sales declined 4.1% in the quarter, largely due to a decline in DIY big ticket discretionary spending.

“This quarter we rolled out our new DIY loyalty program nationally, expanded same-day delivery options, and took market share in key categories,” chairman, president, and CEO Marvin Ellison said. “We continue to gain momentum with our Total Home strategy, reflected in our growth in Pro and online.”

Ellison said investments in the pro customer segment, particularly efforts to improve service levels and brand portfolio, resulted in increased sales and customer engagement in the first quarter.

“This customer has proven resilient as reflected in the recent pro survey with healthy backlogs in line with last year. Our strategy continues to focus on taking share with small- to medium-sized pros, such as repair and remodel contractors, property managers, and tradespeople,” Ellison said. “We estimate these pros represent half of the $500 billion pro market, which remains highly fragmented. We’re striving to provide a high level of service with the small- to medium-sized pros as we continue to build trust and credibility.”

Ellison said Lowe’s is investing to expand its capabilities to handle larger order delivery to pro job sites. Additionally, the company has plans to open new Lowe’s pro supply branches around the United States.

“There is still a significant runway ahead of us to grow ourselves with [pro] customers while also leveraging our retail footprint to drive profitability,” Ellison said.